I work with several investors and I have purchased furniture specifically for staging their flip homes. I even recently bought an enclosed trailer to haul and store it when I am between listings. I can take it as a tax write off too! I got almost all of my furniture on CraigsList, mostly for free - you'd be SURPRISED what some people will give away just because they don't have time to sell it. Blow up mattresses on top of boxes, for height, are perfect for staging bedrooms. They also look more realistic with a headboard just leaned up against the wall behind them. Lots of accessories can be bought at discount stores and the Home Goods store is GREAT!
For normal seller listings where they are still occupying, it is also a good idea to have a stager come in and help them rearrange their furniture and accessories to better show off the home with what they already have.... more
Commissions are always negotiable. That being said; when a seller offers a lower commission percentage to a buyer's agent; they risk having buyer's agents not showing the property or "running out of time" to show the property to their client.
As a Realtor; I offered a higher than normal percentage when selling my own home - and agents put my home at the top of their "homes to show" lists.... more
The DC and Virginia real estate markets are diverse and offer up a wide range of properties and options for a buyer such as yourself. With so many options in front of you I recommend spending some time identifying what exactly it is that you want to do. Do some online research, talk to some friends, and pick a list of REALTORS to interview. It is important to find someone you feel comfortable with and can work well with. Once you've selected a REALTOR to work with you can work together to sort through your options, identifying your goals and coming up with a plan to make them a reality. The VA loan program is fantastic and I highly recommend taking advantage of it!... more
Also, with current average interest rates, mortgage payments can be as low as 450 per month per 100k financed.
This is what you should do. Talk to a lender and tell them the most you can pay a month. You might be surprised. Then, find a realtor (if I may toot my own horn, I'm pretty awesome and licensed in both DC and Maryland). Talk about the 3 biggies - where, how much, and how big - and then have a discussion about how the Realtor will work for you.
I agree with Kelly. Regardless of who you go with, get a 48 hour exit clause in your agreement. Personally, I put in a 24 hour clause. If you don't like your agent then what's the point of being locked in? No one wants that.... more
On the surface it seems to be a cut and dried question but as you can tell from the responses there's more to the answer than arithmetic. Three percent makes me think you're the buyer because the seller would be looking to save 5-6%. You already know the dollar amounts for doing business, then add on the time spent learning the business, the kindness of colleagues who will be answering your questions and the trial-and-error problems you will encounter because the fun of real estate is it's never the same thing twice. It's not a wise investment for a single purchase, however if you're about to become investors and purchase more often, then yes, it would be worth your time.... more
Based on my home purchase experience, I would suggest that you be very careful when selecting a buyer's agent. Do not sign any buyer agent agreement until you are absolutely sure about the agent. You may want an agent, who lives in the area you are searching your home (preferably), knows the area you want to purchase VERY well, has a lot of experience, but not arrogant. When you sign the buyer agent agreement, be sure the agreement period is not too long, has the option to let you out when your agent is not performing, and you are not responsible for paying buyer's commission if seller refuses to pay. Carefully read everything you sign. I would not say that all agents are greedy, but few not so desirable ones are out there, and there are also quite a number of good, caring agents, too. Avoid letting the buyer's agent to learn on your dime at all cost. Even if an agent has shown you some houses, you may want to get out while you can if you find the agent to be inexperienced or not the right fit for you. It can be expensive. Good luck.... more